SACRAMENTO, Cal. (Sept. 3, 2013) – Today, the California State Senate voted to approve a bill that will help render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, by Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, was previously passed by the state assembly by a vote of 71-1 (roll call here)
California residents are strongly encouraged to contact Governor Jerry Brown, urging him to sign AB351. (contact info here)
If passed into law, AB351 would make it state policy to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government. It reads, in part:
It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. [emphasis added]
This language of AB351 goes far beyond what has been considered in most other states, which focus solely on indefinite detention powers under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and nothing else. Donnelly’s legislation broadens the scope by recognizing that indefinite detention should not be complied with no matter what federal law is used to justify it. Donnelly confirmed this broad scope, “AB351 will prevent California from implementing indefinite detention for any reason.”
This would make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California. As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.